West Forsyth 42, Centennial 32
West Forsyth 6 8 14 14–42
Centennial 7 3 7 15–32
WF: McConnell 16 run (kick missed), 5:35
C: Herring 19 pass from Conway (kick good), 0:47
WF: McConnell 2 run (2-pt good), 8:24
C: Martinez 12 pass from Conway (kick good), 7:54
WF: McConnell 29 run (kick good), 7:09
WF: McConnell 1 run (kick good), 2:11
WF: Lingo 22 run (kick good), 11:07
C: Herring 77 pass from Conway (kick good), 6:59
C: Herring 2 run (2-pt good), 4:17
WF: McConnell 38 run (kick good), 1:12
ROSWELL—West Forsyth staved off a late comeback attempt by Centennial to win 42-32 Friday at the Fortress on a wet and windy Halloween night.
Senior quarterback Hampton McConnell (9-of-16, 135 yards) struggled throwing the ball in such windy conditions, but more than made up for it on the ground. McConnell had 16 carries for 161 yards and five touchdowns.
"I think that our offensive line did a great job, without them I wouldn’t have any of those touchdowns and I’m appreciative of that," McConnell said.
With the win, West’s playoff hopes remain alive. A loss would have officially eliminated them.
Instead, the Wolverines (5-4 overall, 5-3 in Region 6-AAAAAA) go into their regular season finale next week against Johns Creek (1-8, 1-7) with a chance to reach the playoffs for a county-record fifth straight season.
"Still alive," West head coach Adam Clack said.
Despite McConnell’s performance, the game was in doubt late in the fourth quarter.
Junior running back Luke Lingo took his only carry of the night 22 yards to the house to give West a 35-17 lead a minute into the fourth quarter. West then recovered the ball on the ensuing kickoff at the Centennial 31 and drove down to a third-and-goal at the 4 yard line. A dropped pass in the end zone led to a 21-yard missed field goal attempt.
Three plays later Centennial (5-4, 5-3) was in the end zone on a 77-yard screen pass from sophomore quarterback Casen Conway (17-of-29, 255 yards, three touchdowns) to junior wide receiver Caden Herring (four catches, 111 yards, two touchdowns).
West seemed to struggle all night with the screen pass as all three of Conway’s touchdown passes came from screens, two of them to Herring.
A West three-and-out and a Herring touchdown run cut the lead to 35-32.
"We let up with a lead and a team like that is going to put you in a position," Clack said.
After another West three-and-out, Centennial had the ball at the West 47 with a chance to take the lead with 2:48 remaining. The Wolverine defense held strong forcing a turnover on downs after Centennial failed to convert a fourth-and-17.
"When we had to step up—offense, defense, special teams—we were able to step up and get it done," Clack said.
Centennial still had all three timeouts when West got the ball with 1:54 on the clock. A couple of first downs would have sealed the victory, but McConnell had other ideas. On the third play of the drive, McConnell ran it up the middle for 38 yards and his fifth touchdown of the night.
"At times we made some small mistakes that cost us, but overall I think we did a great job," McConnell said.